Zoom Webinar practice session

This post was most recently updated on July 22nd, 2022

Before you start your webinar, you can set up a practice session for it so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls of the webinar before you start it. All of the panelists, as well as the host and alternative host, are able to access the practice session.

Taking part in the practice session is as simple as joining the webinar before the host starts broadcasting the webinar live to attendees. When the webinar begins in the practice session, the host, alternative host, and panelist will enter the webinar session, in which the webinar will commence where the host ends. When everyone is ready, the host, co-host, or the co-hosts can begin to broadcast the show.

Notes:

  • There is no need to wait until the actual webinar takes place before using the practice session. In order to prepare for the webinar, you can start the practice session, broadcast, and conclude the event up to a few days or even hours prior to the scheduled time and date. This will not affect your ability to begin the webinar at the scheduled time.
  • There are two ways in which panelists can join the webinar practice session. They can either use the unique panelists join link sent to them by the host or they can sign in to their Zoom account using the email account that matches the panelist assignment on their desktop or mobile device. When the participant is not logged in or is logged in with a different Zoom account, they will be directed to join the practice session as an attendee, and will not be able to participate in it as a participant.
  • You will not be able to start the recording for a webinar practice session if you have automatic recording enabled.

In this article, we will discuss the following topics:

  • How to enable webinar practice session
  • How to start a webinar practice session
  • How to start a webinar from within practice session

Prerequisites for webinar practice session

  • Whether it’s a Zoom Webinars add-on for Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise accounts
  • Zoom’s desktop client is now available for download
    • Windows: version 5.2.1 or higher
    • macOS: version 5.2.1  or higher
    • Linux: version 5.2.1 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app
    • Android: version 5.2.1 or higher
    • iOS: version 5.2.1 or higher

How to enable webinar practice session

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal by entering your email address and password.
  2. Select Webinars from the navigation menu at the top of the page.
  3. If you would like to schedule a webinar, or view a previous webinar, you can click on the title of the webinar.
  4. You will be able to edit this webinar by clicking the Edit button.
  5. Select the Enable Practice Session check box under the Webinar Options section and then click the Save button.

How to start a webinar practice session

There can be only one active practice session for each webinar, which means the attendees will not be able to participate in the practice session, only the host, alternative host, or panelists will be able to participate. There is no difference between a host and an alternative host if the host begins a practice session and the alternative begins one, so both will be part of the same practice session.

Desktop client

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client and sign in with your Zoom account.
  2. The webinar can be started by going to the Home tab or the Meetings tab.
    There will be a banner at the top of the Zoom window indicating that the host, alternative host, and panelists are currently in practice mode. This will let them know that they are in practice mode.

Web portal

  1. Log into the Zoom web portal by clicking on the link below.
  2. Click on the Webinars link in the navigation menu of the website.
  3. Then you need to click on one of the webinars that has an opportunity for practice.
  4. Start the practice session by clicking the Start Practice Session button.

How to start a webinar from within practice session

  1. Create a practice webinar session and start practicing.
  2. Click the Start Webinar button in the top banner of the page.
  3. In order for the webinar to begin and for attendees to be able to participate in the webinar, click Start.
    A banner will appear at the top of the Zoom window letting the host and all the panelists know that the live webinar is now live and they should be able to view it.

Note: In this case, the start time that you set at the time of scheduling the webinar will not change from what you originally specified. Please coordinate with the panelists ahead of the scheduled start time if you are interested in joining the practice session so that the practice session does not lead into the scheduled start time.